A lot of people have hesitations on buying a condo, and many of these reasons stem from not knowing how to sell one. They worry that they’ll struggle to find buyers, or that the nuances between selling a condo and a house are too complicated or too much of a hassle.
Rest assured: buying a condo is still a lucrative real estate investment, and selling it isn’t as bad as you might think. As long as you know these essential selling tips, you’ll be in good shape.
Check with the board or HOA.
While not always the case, it’s common for some entity (such as an HOA or board) to manage the overall building in which your condo is located. They’ll provide you with any details or processes that are specific to the property, as well as necessary paperwork. This could include (but isn’t limited to):
- Past board meeting minutes
- Financial reports for the condo association
- Planned assessments or improvements
- HOA disclosure or financial documents (if any)
These documents must be disclosed to the buyer, so it’s good to go through them now. It’s also good to talk to the association because they might have some insightful selling tips — or even a potential buyer. Desirable properties may have a waiting list of people looking to move in.
Do some research.
The two main things to research before putting your condo on the market: price and timing.
What have similar condos sold for in your area? Is anyone else in your building currently selling (or recently sold)? A real estate agent can pull comps to find more selling details, but with condos there are some seemingly small factors that can actually make a substantial price difference:
- Noise level: Condos on the end or penthouses share fewer walls. This means less noise, which makes your property worth more.
- Views: Often found in downtown areas with access to stunning skylines, better views fetch a better listing price.
- Location: A third-story condo in a building with no elevator will likely cost less than one on the floors below.
- Indoor parking: Condos with an included garage space are worth more than condos with outdoor or street parking.
- Other amenities: Pools, gyms, event spaces and any other amenities add value.
Some of these factors might seem obvious, but think about how different it is than selling a house. Two 3-bed, 2-bath houses a block apart from each other will likely have a similar listing price; the same isn’t a guarantee with two separate condos.
So much of the timing for when to list your condo depends on where you live. If you own a condo in a quaint and popular ski town, selling in the fall is probably your best bet. A condo in a beautiful island destination might have the most success when listed in the winter.
It pays to do your research on selling times for condos in your area. Talking with a real estate agent can also make a huge difference, but above all, it pays to have common sense.
Kick staging up a notch.
Staging a condo requires a bit more finesse than staging a house because there’s less space to work with. When working on a micro level, the details stand out more than ever.
- Prioritize space: No buyer is interested in a place that feels cramped. Get rid of or store away anything that’s not essential, organize closets and declutter relentlessly.
- Add some elbow grease: Clean and polish surfaces as if you were about to move out of a rental and didn’t want to incur a cleaning fee.
- Highlight the highlights: Open the blinds and clean the windows to show off those breathtaking penthouse views. Clear and organize your deck. Organize your extra storage. Whatever your condo perks may be, shine the spotlight on them.
In addition to staging your particular unit, think about the highlights of the building or condo association as a whole. Be ready to show the pool or parking garage, or even just highlight security measures when bringing guests up.
Selling a condo overseas? Look out for some restrictions.
RealtyHive has condos available in Panama, Belize, Aruba and more, as well as commercial and residential properties all over the world. As such, we have a lot of knowledge on international real estate. Many people don’t realize that some countries have restrictions on who you can sell your condo to (in addition to other laws).
In some instances, it’s illegal to sell to foreigners (unless you’re also a foreigner). Check with a local agent or lawyer for more information.
When to NOT sell your condo
If you’re in the financial spot to do so AND you don’t have HOA or board restrictions, you might be better off renting out your condo. You’d have to consider the possibility of managing two mortgages at once (in the times when you don’t have renters) but this could open up a new channel of investment and passive income.
However, you should check with your condo association before getting your hopes up. It’s likely that if you have a condo association to begin with, you won’t be able to rent it out (but it doesn’t hurt to ask).
These are the main things to note when selling a condo — other pointers like real estate marketing and closing aren’t all that different from selling a house. If you want an extra boost in exposure and results when selling, list with RealtyHive! Our time-limited events can give your condo the exposure it needs.